The Lonely Womb

Living and Learning through Loss

Category: The Dark Womb

For the posts that touch on the Depression, Sadness and Helplessness of Infertility

Do they have a corkscrew for feelings or maybe a can opener?

I am a smiley kind of person.  It is actually the thing I get the most compliments on (my smile).  The ironic thing is I smile a lot but don’t necessarily “feel” smiley.  I hide my true feelings behind this smile.

What I am not is the person who will call you to cry on your shoulder.  I will happily be that shoulder for friends and family or even a complete stranger and have been on numerous occasions.  But, I am not able to be that vulnerable with other people in that way at least.  I wish it were easier for me to do this.  I mean obviously I am an open book as evidenced by this blog but showing physical emotions is tough.  There are a finite amount of people who have ever seen me cry.  Even my husband has only seen me “weep” a handful of times over our 22 years together.

I cry though, oh boy do I cry.  Always in a “safe” place like the shower, the car, at night when all are asleep.  What I have learned though over the past 10 years or so is that when the tear cup overfloweth I must bottle things up.  I don’t want to risk a cryfest in front of anyone so just tuck those nasty feelings in for bed and hope they stay in a comatose state.

When I have bottled these feelings for too long they are sometimes sealed so tight that I am unable to cry when I really need to even if I am completely alone.  Unfortunately, when I am in that frame of mine I am closed off from both bad and good feelings.  I remain in the land of status quo feelings.  To let a little air out so that cork doesn’t burst from my bottle and take someone’s eye out I have had to figure out a way to make myself cry.  A way to connect with emotions and feel something.  A way that I am still shielded by the real feelings otherwise down the rabbit hole I go again.  Forget Netflix and chill we’ll call this Hulu and Cry.

As a serious empathic and sensitive person, seeing other people cry is my biggest trigger.  So, I will go through periods of time where I may engulf myself in some intense dramatic television viewing.  This past spell has brought me back to an old favorite show, Private Practice.3  Ironically a show whose main character is a neonatal surgeon with a best friend that is a fertility specialist.  The show follows the characters of a co-operative medical practice with a strong focus on baby (IVF, Birth, Death, Pregnancy, etc.).  The show began the year my husband and I started TTC and while it was often difficult to watch (hello triggers) it was cathartic for me somehow.  I recently found all the old seasons on Hulu and have been steadily binge-watching.  This has allowed me some serious crying and thus unleashing of the built of pressure of feelings.  Certainly not an ideal way to deal with my shit but it helps me not feel quite so weighed down by everything.  The only other thing really helping right now other than medication is writing this blog.  I drag my feet from time to time as it isn’t easy to write but somehow making it a public forum has me writing far more often and on the regular than keeping a journal.

And with that I bid you adieu.  Enjoy what is left of this lovely weekend.  I will be out celebrating my fabulous husband’s upcoming birthday tonight.

Blessings, Lara

The Hope has gone missing from my Hope Chest

This has been a tough week in the Caldwell household (actually, the last few months have been exceptionally challenging but that is for a different post).  This week I found myself plagued by the depression I have fought for as long as I can remember.

Depression for me can be triggered by a number of things and sometimes I don’t know what the trigger is or was at all.  What I do know is once I am depressed I will think even more about my infertility than ever which brings me to the hopeless chest.

When I was young child I couldn’t wait to have a hope chest all my own and always wanted to play with the items in my mom’s hope chest.  She had stuff from when she first dated my dad and when they got married.  Odd trinkets and a bunch of baby items from when I was born.  It was like a living scrapbook of memories.  I loved going through it and hearing the stories my mom would tell me about each item.  Fast forward to my 18th birthday and I finally got my very own hope chest.  I didn’t have a ton of things to put in it at that point but was excited to fill it full of the dreams I had for myself.  At first it was filled with things I was planning on taking to college with me like my first set of dishes.  Honestly, I don’t actually remember all of the things I kept in it early on or even when my husband and I finally had a place of our own that was big enough for me to not be storing the chest at my parents.

What I do remember is what I began to store in it when we decided to start a family.  Before we ever began trying I put some items from my childhood that I wanted to pass down to my child.  I had the dishes I used as a little kid.  If you grew up in the 70’s you probably remember the Peter Rabbit set.  vintage-peter-rabbit-in-the-garden-plate-bowl-silite-plastic-kid-s-dishes-094face17b39e8cd95d2ad12e2a09be3Some sentimental stuffed animals to be passed down and some artwork that I had kept that I wanted in a future nursery.  snoopy-sno-cone-machine-1My husband had even bought me an old school Snoopy Snow Cone maker identical to the one I had as a kid and I promptly added to the hope chest for our little to have those same snow cone memories.

The Hope chest didn’t have much in it until we got pregnant the first time around.  Of course with the excitement we couldn’t resist buying some baby clothes and a few cute things for a nursery.  After that first miscarriage there haven been a small handful of items we have added to the chest for fear of adding to the sadness or bad luck.  What it does hold are cute clothes and blankets, books from friends and a few adorable toys.  Oh! and a hoard of “I love grandma” onesies that my mother-in-law added to our collection.

There are also some baby gifts that friends sent to me AFTER my miscarriage (yes they knew of my loss before sending).  Now, I know that none of this was done out of malice but boy were they hard to get.  If you are reading this as one of my friends please note that was lone ago and I’m sure you didn’t understand that was a really hard thing to receive at the time.  Could I have said something, sure but why make them feel bad about an ill-timed gift.  While this post isn’t about that I did want to take a moment to remind anyone out there to that it is much harder to get these gifts as the hopeful “I know you will use this when you get pregnant again” rather than you just storing them until that appropriate time.  Same goes for those handmade gifts that people started for us and would mention as a type of guilt like “hey, I started a quilt for you back then so hurry up and get pregnant already so I can give it to you”.  Um, I’m trying but thanks for all of that support and sorry to keep YOU waiting.

Back to the Hopeless Chest… So, this beautiful chest sits at the foot of our bed and normally is just a piece of furniture.  Other times like this past week it haunts me and tempts me to delve into it and cry over the baby goods inside.  I will be honest, the picture of the items is actually an older pic taken long ago as I decided this week was not a healthy time to open the chest at all.  But, all week I kept thinking about it as the hopeless chest.  Mostly, because that was the feeling my depression brought on this week.  Usually, it is a dark sad depression that is dripping with sarcasm and anger.  This week it was hopeless hopeless hopeless.  Full of poor me and I’ll never have a baby thoughts and hopelessness for our current situation.

Currently, I am feeling much better and I would have written this post earlier had I had the energy to do so.  I am hoping by putting these feelings and dealing with depression on top of infertility will help someone out there who feels similar.  As usual, feel free to contact me or leave a comment.  I would love to hear how you deal with your depression and infertility too.  If you are seeking additional support or resources you can find some here.

Blessings, Lara

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